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Tuesday 20th March
Guadeloupe Information - Page 1
The Department of Guadeloupe, an Overseas Territory of France, is an island in the Caribbean. Dominica is to the south of Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe consists of the islands of Basse-Terre, La Desirade, Grande-Terre, Iles de la Petite Terre, Iles des Saintes, Marie-Galante, Saint-Barthelemy, and Saint-Martin (the island of Saint Martin is shared with the Dutch Antilles). Basse-Terre is the capital.

Most of the islands are of volcanic origin, apart from Grande-Terre which is a low limestone island.

Guadeloupe's climate is tropical with cooling trade winds.

The volcanic island of Basse-Terre is the site of Le Parc National De Guadeloupe. The National Park, established in 1989, maintains a network of paths through the tropical forest.

The Cul-de-Sac Marin, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is managed by the National Park. The Reserve, between Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, includes coral reefs and mangrove forests. Water birds such as pelicans, herons and kingfishers inhabit the area.

French Colonial houses were constructed in wood with verandahs, jalousie (louvre) windows and decorative fretwork. Examples of Colonial architecture can still be found in Guadeloupe. These include the military fort, churches and the old cathedral.

The population of Guadeloupe was estimated at 452,780 in 2006.

French is the official language in Guadeloupe. Creole patois is spoken.

The majority of the people in Guadeloupe are Christian, mainly Roman Catholic.

The cuisine of Guadeloupe is influenced by French, Creole, East Indian and Southeast Asian food.

Local dishes include fish soup and callaloo. Callaloo is a soup made from dasheen leaves; sometimes crab or other meat is added.

Stews, such as pork stew, are eaten and curried goat is popular. Seafood plays an important part in the diet; salted codfish is also used in recipes.

Vegetables and fruits grown are breadfruit, cassava, okra, plantains, sweet potatoes, bananas, mangoes, melons, passion fruit and pineapples.

Fresh fruit juices are available and rum is brewed locally.

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